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7.7 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes In South Pacific; No California, Hawaii Tsunami Threat

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A major earthquake struck off the South Pacific Ocean, prompting a tsunami warning to a number of islands in the region. Subsequent reports from authorities indicated the tsunami threat had passed.

The 7.7 magnitude quake struck at 5:20 a.m. PST about 250 miles southeast of New Caledonia archipelago, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake was preceded by at least three foreshocks between 5.7 and 6.0 magnitude. It was followed by several aftershocks with magnitudes between 5.0 and 6.1.

South Pacific earthquake
South Pacific 7.7 earthquake (U.S. Geological Survey)

The U.S. Tsunami Warning Centers said hazardous tsunami waves from the earthquake were possible along the coasts of Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji. Sea level observations indicated a tsunami was generated with sea level changes along some island coasts  between 0.6 and 2.6 feet.

By 10:26 a.m. PST, the warning center issued an update which stated, "Based on all available data, the tsunami threat from this earthquake has now passed."

There was no tsunami danger for Hawaii, the U.S. West Coast, British Columbia, or Alaska.

So far there were no reports of any damage or injuries from the earthquakes.

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